The president has spent the past few weeks insulting the United States’ closest allies, retweeting anti-Muslim videos from far-right British activists, spitting out racist slurs at a ceremony honoring Native American veterans, privately embracing conspiracy theories related to his “Access Hollywood” tape and Barack Obama’s birthplace, slandering CNN International, and, yes, pushing a bizarre conspiracy theory in my direction.

Any Fortune 500 company would have fired a chief executive exhibiting similarly erratic behavior long ago. Unfortunately, the Washington leaders most strategically positioned to limit the damage seem to be frozen by fear.